More top winemakers reveal their drinks of choice this festive season

December 14, 2020
By Melissa Parker

Jim White, Cloudy Bay

We start with Ruinart Rosé with whitebait sandwiches, a very kiwi thing, (tiny juvenile eels) in beaten eggs.  Lunch typically starts with salmon gravlax and grilled scampi with some aged Clare Riesling or Hunter Semillon, plus some nice Chardonnay, an older Cape Mentelle from my years there.

A glazed ham signals the time for reds, the only bottle of sparkling Shiraz we open each year followed by some aged Aussie reds, Coonawarra or Yarra Cabernets, still have a few 1998s that are humming from Majella and Yarra Yering. When the weather is good we typically end the day on the deck watching satellites drinking Glenmorangie 18-year-old while eating dark chocolate.

Brett Fullerton, Constellation Brands

This Christmas we’ll have a traditional family get-together in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, soaking up the warmer weather and spending quality time together. Festive lunch this year will likely include roast chicken, and we’ll have a few bottles of Round Theory Pinot Gris around the table to enjoy alongside. This drop screams summer fruits with aromatics of bright nashi pear, red apples and white jasmine. As a family, we strive to make more sustainable choices every day, so the fact Round Theory is purposely crafted to have a positive impact on the planet, it ticks a lot of boxes around the dining table!

Ed Carr, House of Arras

I will be sharing Christmas at home in Adelaide with my extended family, which includes four young grandchildren and hence, as you can imagine, it will be a very casual event. Hopefully, the weather is kind, and we get to relax outside around the swimming pool and enjoy seafood followed by the classic Australian barbecue fare.

To accompany our feast, we’ll be enjoying a selection of the best varieties and styles that Australian wine regions have to offer, and of course, will be enjoying a glass or two of House of Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2004 especially after its recent Decanter announcement for as the world’s best sparkling wine.

Mike Mudge, Petaluma Wines

We all start the day as a family with a traditional Pimm’s and Dry before enjoying freshly shucked oysters with crisp Petaluma 2020 Hanlin Hill Riesling. As friends start rolling in, we’ll open a 2017 Petaluma Project Company Chardonnay before the main of a roasted bird and a squealing pig, accompanied by a Felton Road and Tolpuddle Pinot.  We’ll finish the day with Rockford Black Shiraz to go with Christmas Puddling and dollops of brandy butter. Then it’s into the hammock as the festivities roll on.

Courtney Treacher, Houghton Wines

I like to make sure that Christmas Day is a celebration with friends and family, so there is always bubbles! This year we will be reaching for a glass of Pol Roger NV and of course the 2008 House of Arras Grand Vintage. We all know you can’t go wrong with bubbles from Ed Carr. With Christmas dinner, we will pair Brookland Valley Reserve and Bay of Fires Chardonnays with prawns, ham and salads. Followed by a Hardys HRB Cabernet and finishing on a Sauternes. Merry Christmas everyone!

Helen McCarthy, St Hallett

On Christmas Day I’ll be sharing (or at least attempting to share) a bottle of 2008 House of Arras Grand Vintage and 2015 St Hallett Planted 1919 Shiraz.  I’ll cook turkey and roast veggies, and both wines will complement the food. The complexity of the Arras and elegance and depth of the Planted should keep my guests more than happy.  Neither of these wines is everyday wines, but Christmas is a time my family gets to be together and celebrate. It’s one of those occasions where I dig deep into my cellar and share with the people who mean the most to me…particularly after the strange year that we have all just lived.

Brett Smith, Peter Lehmann Wines

I will be enjoying an NV Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and 2014 Peter Lehmann Black Queen Sparkling Shiraz for breakfast followed by 2011 The Willows Vineyard Semillon, 2018 Hentley Farm Old Legend Grenache and 1991 Peter Lehmann Mentor Cabernet with lunch. Post nap will be a Pirate Life Throwback IPA and for dinner we will open a 2012 Peter Lehmann Wigan Riesling, the 2018 Ivybrook Farm Tempranillo, the 2016 Brands Laira The Stentiford Shiraz and finish with Morris Old Premium Rare Muscat.

Chester Osborn, d’Arenberg

Christmas will involve around 16 family members for lunch. We have a traditional Christmas meal starting with Coffin Bay oysters (hopefully no one carks it), and prawns with Champagne and d’Arenberg Pollyanna Polly Sparkling White, followed by either roast turkey or turducken, ham, potato bake, and veggies.

Wines vary but will definitely include white Burgundy, probably a 2010 Puligny Montrachet with possibly a 2011 d’Arenberg Lucky Lizard Chardonnay followed by a red Burgundy 2008 or 2009, probably a Volnay, maybe with a 2009 d’Arenberg The Feral Fox Pinot Noir, most likely followed by a d’Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings GSM and a Chateauneuf Du Pape, maybe Vieux Telegraphe, both possibly 2010. Then a d’Arenberg The Dead Arm 2009 and a 2008 Barolo, possibly a Vietti Castiglione, followed by an array of cheeses and Christmas pudding, with d’Arenberg Nobel Botryotinia Fuckelina Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and a Sauternes, maybe a Chateau Coutet. Wines are presented blind, to help train the ‘up and coming’ budding winemaking studying kids, and to keep the oldies from repeating themselves and make sure they drink enough to kick the brain in to find some gems of history. Maybe old bonks or just flames or something that reminds us young guns we are only following their lead and it takes time to become wise and disassociated from new realities.

Osborn is pictured above.

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